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A Forgetting of Benjamin Franklin

Shai Afsai marks the passing of Ben Franklin on 17 April 1790. Rabbis and Jewish scholars have often been unaware of, confused about, or uncomfortable acknowledging American founding father Benjamin Franklin’s influence on Judaism. Franklin specialists have been largely oblivious to it. Though the mussar (practical Jewish ethical instruction) classic Sefer Heshbon Hanefesh (Book of […]

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The Federalist Society Makes Aliyah

Joshua Michaels on the sophistry of the Federalist Society and the shande that is the attempt of right-wing legal activists to replicate in Israel. Desperate for a reprieve from the dullness of COVID lockdown, I stumbled upon a free online course on Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye the Dairyman, hosted by Professor Ruth Wisse of Harvard University […]

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How Ben Franklin Was Turned Into an Antisemite

Shai Afsai discusses how the American Founding Father has been used to spread hate. The myth that American founding father Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was antisemitic first emerged 87 years ago – 144 years after his passing – with the publication of a fraudulent and since then repeatedly discredited text […]

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Not a Jew. Says Who?

Loolwa Khazzoom reflects on Ella Emhoff’s Jewishness and who gets to decide. On Inauguration Day, I was very emotional – not only because Kamala Harris is the first African- and Asian-American woman in the White House, and not only because her husband, Doug Emhoff, is the first Second Gentleman in the White House, but also […]

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It’s Time to Celebrate Jewish Power

Loolwa Khazzoom celebrates the Jews in the new Biden administration. I watched inauguration day with great emotion, for numerous reasons, including the fact that a Black Indian woman is in the White House, for the first time in history. I was equally excited not only about the corollary fact that there is a second gentleman […]

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‘The Greening of America’ 50 Years Later

Martin Elliot Jaffe looks back at a landmark book and its enduring relevance for today. As a college student in 1970,  I was captivated by the vision of a new America articulated by Yale Law Professor Charles Reich in his best-selling The Greening of America,  where the ethos of enlightened, privileged middle-class college students were […]

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen poses, 09 October 2006 in Paris, a few days before the launch of his new movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," about a blundering Kazakh reporter exploring America, out on the 15th of November. Cohen first found fame in Britain and the United States in the character of Ali G, a track-suited, jewelry-draped buffoon who subjected politicians and other public figures to deliberately comedic interviews. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY

Borat Sequel is a Modern Jewish Fairy-tale

Sean Alexander offers another view on the Borat sequel. Fourteen years have lapsed since Kazakhstani reporter Borat Sagdiyev first came to global attention in the hands of Sacha Baron Cohen’s fearless, audacious and at times cringe-inducing reporter.  The world at large – and specifically for Borat – have not been kind since 2006: while right-wing politics […]

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